How your organization communicates is a good indicator of how well your business is running. With statistics indicating that the majority of American workers are dissatisfied with their current positions, companies cannot afford to make communication errors.
Businesses that communicate effectively reap many benefits. Employees perform quality work and turn in projects and assignments by deadline. If a problem occurs, workers address it immediately to diffuse the situation. Communicating effectively provides managers with more time because they do not have to repeat explanations or micromanage to help their employees complete tasks. Additionally, turnover is reduced and companies’ bottom lines increase.
Organizations that lack effective communication put themselves at risk for many negative scenarios. Inadequately explaining a project can lead to missed deadlines, poor client service or lost business deals. Pitiable communication skills can cause employee frustration, which can lead to a decrease in productivity or an increase in employee turnover.
Because the number of unhappy workers is steadily growing, it is important for companies to evaluate their current communication practices. Below are a few strategies to help your organization communicate effectively:
Start with Management
- Managers have multiple responsibilities. In addition to their own assignments, they are tasked with relaying information and projects to their subordinates. Problems occur quickly when managers are not effectively communicating their requests.
- Employees should not have to guess what their managers expect them to accomplish. Expectations should be communicated clearly and repeated, if necessary. Creating an action plan with specific timelines, employee roles and final due dates will eliminate the probability that staff members misunderstand assignments.
Encourage Open Communication
- No one wins when there is only one line of communication at an organization. Employees do not perform at their full potential when their managers are only allowed to give feedback. Encourage all staff members to ask questions, discuss concerns or suggest ways to problem solve often.
- Management and senior leadership should try to uncover any communication concerns employees might have. Company leadership also should ensure that employees do not feel as though revealing unfavorable information could jeopardize their positions. Anonymous employee opinion surveys can serve as an option to find answers to assessing your current communication style.
Listen and Respect
- In addition to allowing employees of all levels to express their opinions on company decisions or policies, it is also important to actively listen to their concerns or suggestions.
- Do not talk over them or dismiss their viewpoints. All employees, including management and senior leaders, should respect the opinions or their colleagues. Before passing judgment on an idea or concern, take time to understand why they are addressing the issue.
Following these guidelines will help your organization create a more positive work environment. With these strategies in place, workers will be happier and take greater pride in their work, which will increase productivity. Relationships on every level will also improve—managers to subordinates, coworkers to coworkers, and employees to clients.
For more information on utilizing effective communication techniques, please contact CAI’s Advice & Council Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.
This is a guest blog post from our HR partner CAI. CAI is a trusted resource for N.C. employers for HR, compliance and people development.